Kim Lemmon

Kim Lemmon has been a member of the Ohio's Country Journal staff since 1999. She is currently the manager editor.

Kim graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in Agricultural Communications and a minor in Equine Science. Kim and her husband, Mark, reside in Marion County.

The Lemmons currently own miniature horses. They also breed and raise a few pygmy goats each year.

Kim has owned horses since she was a child and has been involved in many aspects of the horse industry since that time. From 2002 until 2010, Kim operated her own riding lesson program that included coaching 4-H members, adults and a college equestrian program. She is also a former 4-H horse judge.




Compact tractor to the rescue

By Kim Lemmon

When I was a kid, my parents handled all the negotiations and logistics of making sure we had hay, grain and sawdust for our two horses. As an adult living far from where I grew up, I have often found it challenging to secure these necessities for my horses.

Through the years, I have developed a good relationship with my hay supplier, and he is always happy to supply me with straw but straw is expensive and in my opinion, really messy. Recently, my only option has been to bed both the horse and goat stalls with straw.

When Mark and I operated a riding lesson business, we kept the horses turned out on pasture most of the time and purchased bagged shavings in bulk. It wasn’t ideal but it was a business expense so we felt we could afford the luxury at the time.

Now my horses are not a business expense; they are just a hobby.… Continue reading

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Rain brings relief to critters as well as crops

By Kim Lemmon

The rain finally fell in measureable amounts that actually had the potential to do some good at my house on July 5. During the previous week of random storms and damage, we did receive some rain but mostly high winds and dangerous lightning so it was with relief that I woke on the morning of July 5 to the sound of rain on the roof.

I had already decided to work from home instead of the office on this date due to the electricity outages in Columbus that were still potentially affecting the Ohio’s Country Journal/ Ohio Ag Net offices. Since I was going to be home all day, I decided to start on some computer work before trying to make my way to the barn to feed the critters amid the lightning and rain.

At about 8:15 a.m. I decided the poor horses and goats were probably starved so I ran to the barn to feed them.… Continue reading

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Visiting The Farm at Walnut Creek

By Kim Lemmon

Several years ago there was a feature in Ohio’s Country Journal about The Farm at Walnut Creek. The property is open to the public and features horse drawn wagon rides through about 120 acres of rolling hills populated with all kinds of exotic animals.

In the past, my parents had taken my young nieces to visit the wildlife at The Farm which caused a little family drama because I wasn’t able to go with them at the time. I’m a big animal lover and I especially loved the idea of riding in the horse drawn wagon.

After a couple of years delay, we finally made plans to visit The Farm. My mom, dad, two nieces and my aunt and uncle and two of their grandsons were also along for the ride. It was definitely an adventure.

We were in a group of about 20 people on a wagon pulled by two Percherons.… Continue reading

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Don’t be a horse snob

By Kim Lemmon

During my lifetime, I have attended many horse shows. My parents started taking my sister and I to shows as babies and they continued that practice clear through our high school years. In fact, I still attend horse shows with my family from time to time.

When we first started attending horse shows, we didn’t own horses; we were just spectators. When I was in the third grade, my parents bought their first horse and a few years later we started participating in horse shows.

I have competed in open stock horse shows, 4-H shows, open draft horse shows, open miniature horse shows, and college team-oriented horse shows. I have judged 4-H, open, and middle, high school and college team-oriented shows.

I’ve watched many different breed shows. During the 1980s and 1990s, our family vacation was spent watching two weeks of horse shows at the Ohio State Fair.… Continue reading

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An unsual barn dog

 

By Kim Lemmon

A lot of folks have a barn or farm dog that accompanies them to the barn or around the farm while they complete their chores. I’ve always adored barn dogs and coveted them because of their companionship and ability to enter the barn first and check for wild critters that may be hiding.

I’ve never been able to have a barn dog of  my own. I currently own three dogs and they are all too wimpy for barn work. They run off at the sight of their own shadows.

My neighbor, Patricia, used to have a yellow lab that accompanied her to the barn daily for chores but the lovely dog sadly died of old age a few years ago. I know Patricia has missed that dog daily. It was great to have a barn buddy.

I often visit with Patricia and her horses when she cleans her horse stalls.… Continue reading

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“Nothing worthwhile is easy Ellen.”

By Kim Lemmon

Chevy Chase is one of my favorite actors. The misadventures in which his characters find themselves involved often leave me in stitches and sometimes seem alarmingly familiar.

Lately, I’ve been working on more projects in and around the barn. I’ve torn down two small sheds and installed more fencing and performed other improvements in the barn. It isn’t easy work; especially, when you are used to spending most of your time behind a computer screen instead of working with tools and lifting heavy objects.

Often my mind wanders while I work on these endless projects. Recently, I’ve been pondering a line in the movie, “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” The characters are preparing to head out west on a family road trip when Ellen suggests to her husband, Clark (Chevy Chase), that it would be “easier to fly.”

He responds in a mildly condescending tone, “Nothing worthwhile is easy Ellen.”… Continue reading

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"Nothing worthwhile is easy Ellen."

By Kim Lemmon

Chevy Chase is one of my favorite actors. The misadventures in which his characters find themselves involved often leave me in stitches and sometimes seem alarmingly familiar.

Lately, I’ve been working on more projects in and around the barn. I’ve torn down two small sheds and installed more fencing and performed other improvements in the barn. It isn’t easy work; especially, when you are used to spending most of your time behind a computer screen instead of working with tools and lifting heavy objects.

Often my mind wanders while I work on these endless projects. Recently, I’ve been pondering a line in the movie, “National Lampoon’s Vacation.” The characters are preparing to head out west on a family road trip when Ellen suggests to her husband, Clark (Chevy Chase), that it would be “easier to fly.”

He responds in a mildly condescending tone, “Nothing worthwhile is easy Ellen.”… Continue reading

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Hay in May: What a relief!

By Kim Lemmon

I’ve never made my own hay but that doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize with those that do. Hay farmers worry about rain and cutting and baling the hay at optimum maturity. I worry about running out, over ordering and having the strength to stack it.

This year was different because I was never worried about running out. It became clear that I had over ordered in 2011 plus the beautiful April and May weather were sure signs of an earlier than normal hay harvest.

Usually by this time of year, I’m counting and recounting my remaining hay stash and readying myself for a mid to late June call from my hay suppler to come and pick up the baled hay. For me, traditionally, June is a month spent worrying about running out of hay or being ready for the call to come get the hay. I’m always glad when it is over because I’m not very good at moving and stacking hay especially during heat waves.… Continue reading

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Immaculate conception in goats: The results

By Kim Lemmon

If you are reading this blog, hopefully you’ve ready the original story and the follow up. Today, I’m reporting the results of this two-month long journey with my silly little pygmy goat Little Bunny Foo Foo.

Earlier this week, I decided things just weren’t looking right so I took Foo to the vet a few days earlier than my self-imposed Memorial Day deadline. I didn’t want to spend the three-day weekend wondering if she was still indeed pregnant or not. The last couple of weeks, she had looked like maybe things weren’t going so well.

The vet sort of smiled when I drug my darling little Foo back for his examination. We both agreed we would be happy if I was the crazy one that was overreacting. He gave her a physical exam and then decided on X-rays this time.

You haven’t lived until you have helped X-ray a goat.… Continue reading

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Is this a dog show?

By Kim Lemmon

Sometimes while attending horse and livestock shows it can be difficult to determine if you are attending a livestock show or a dog show. Dogs of all shapes, sizes and dress codes often steal the show at events that are actually held for other species of animals.

Recently, I attended the River Ridge Charity Horse Show at the Ohio Expo Center, and I can assure you that this group of spectators and exhibitors had great love for their dogs. It was often hard to concentrate on watching the horse show with all the distracting well-dressed and colorful dogs marching up and down the aisles as they accompanied their owners — or babysitters if their owners were showing — to the seating area.

Some of the dogs seemed to enjoy watching the show. Some seemed to take naps on their owners laps and some seemed interested in greeting every dog that went past their seat.… Continue reading

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Immaculate conception in goats: The update

By Kim Lemmon

If you read my blog in March about immaculate conception, you are aware that I own a pygmy goat doe that has managed to become pregnant through mysterious circumstances. I thought I had the how, when and where figured out in March so I was confident that she would kid no later than April 12 and most likely before Easter.

Late March and early April were hard times for me because I tried to stay home with Foo as much as possible — pygmy goats can need help with kidding from time to time. I also had the baby monitor on in the barn 24 hours a day so I could hear Foo if she needed help.

By Good Friday, I was out of my mind. During the next seven days, I was supposed to attend two kids’ birthday parties for my niece and nephew and an Easter dinner.… Continue reading

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Just Google it!

By Kim Lemmon

In this modern age where technological advances have permeated nearly everything, there is constantly something new to learn in order to keep up with these new advances. This is especially true if you are like me and graduated from college more than ten years ago. It seems to me that the longer I am away from school, the harder it is to learn things.

We often discuss these advances in technology at work as we all try to keep our skills current. One person’s answer to almost everything is, “Just Google it!”

I admit that when he first started proposing this line of thought, I was skeptical and kind of shell shocked. Was I really supposed to advance my job skills by just Googling what I needed to learn?

As it turns, out this was good advice. I have learned many new computer and computer software skills by Googling what I needed to learn.… Continue reading

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Make your horse smile

Every spring when I have my equine vet visit to give the horses their vaccines, I invite my equine dentist to come at the same time. The combined visit isn’t cheap but it is necessary.

My equine dentist uses the latest equine dentistry power tools so it is necessary to tranquilize the horses for the procedure. That is why I have the dentist and the vet visit at the same time. Unless an equine dentist is a vet, they are not legally allowed to tranquilize a horse themselves.

It is not just young or just old horses that need to see the dentist. All ages of horses can experience dental problems.

This year, we looked at three of my miniature horses’ mouths.

Ike is 14 years old. He had only minor sharp points so he was the best off of the three and required minimal but important work.

Mike is also 14 years old and he had a wedge.… Continue reading

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45th Equine Affaire

By Kim Lemmon

Equine Affaire is an unique horse event that incorporates shopping, seminars and demonstrations all into one large event for horse lovers. Most folks attend to shop or watch some demonstrations or learn something, I attend to check out all the breeds of horses represented.

I like to see types of horses I do not normally have a chance to look at up close. I have included a few photos so you can share my experience and take a sneak peak into what Equine Affaire has to offer.

Equine Affaire takes place at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus on April 12-15. Its schedule includes 230-plus educational sessions in eight venues, acres of exhibits to browse, and special events on Thursday through Saturday evenings.… Continue reading

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Very dangerous; Do not attempt: Pony Parade

By Kim Lemmon

So if you read my blog last week, you are aware that I have started allowing the horses to graze again. It is nice because it keeps the stalls and paddocks cleaner, but I doubt it is less time consuming as I am still regulating the time they spend on pasture.

It is pretty easy turning everybody out on pasture. I just lead the draft mare to her pasture; I open a gate for the bays; and I lead the appy mini to the pasture with the bays. Taking every one back to the barn is another story.

The bays and the appy mini are all in the same pasture. The bays do not like to be separated and are hard to catch separately so I have to always lead them back to the barn together. The appy would have no problem staying in the pasture by himself but the gate is a problem.… Continue reading

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The challenges of spring grazing

By Kim Lemmon

What a relief it is to both critters and their human caretakers when they can finally return to grazing if they have been confined to stalls and dry lots during the winter.

We only own a handful of acres so we have to take great care to manage our pastures carefully. This means that the horses do not see grass all winter long. We use dry lots for winter turnout.

The horses are always happy to return to their pastures in the spring, and I’m always happy to see my hay use go down as I rely more on grass for a large part of their diet. As most livestock owners know, it is never a good idea to go from feeding only hay and grain to unlimited turnout on grass — especially for horses. Colic and founder are a real danger to horses that aren’t used to eating much grass.… Continue reading

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Immaculate conception in goats?

By Kim Lemmon

About 7 years ago, I started breeding pygmy goats. I’ve always done plenty of research and listened to advice from breeders and veterinarians.

Over time, I have developed my own methods of breeding and caring for my goats based on experience and the advice of others. Anyone who knows much about me knows that I take my goats and their health pretty seriously. I call myself “the crazy goat lady” and, to be honest, I’m probably one step away from actually being one.

I try very hard to relax and go with the flow but I’m pretty militant. I keep accurate records of all vaccinations, de-wormings and hoof trimmings, and I take great care to make notes on my calendar every time a doe is exposed to a buck. I may not know the exact dates my kids will be born — the bucks usually enjoy at least a month-long stay with the does — but I know the windows of time when they could kid.… Continue reading

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Miracles do happen

By Kim Lemmon

In December, my husband, Mark, and I bought another miniature horse. The reasons behind the purchase and the entire horse search experience are a story for a future “Horse Sense” article.  Nothing at our house is uneventful.

The mini’s name is Harley and Mark has liked him from the beginning. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that Harley is smaller than our other minis so he costs less to feed and he makes less manure to clean from his stall.

We didn’t have a harness small enough for Harley so we had to buy a new one. We finally accomplished this last weekend, and I was excited to try the harness and perform a test drive to see if Harley is still as “bomb proof” as was suggested when we purchased him.

On a beautiful Sunday, I harnessed and drove Harley with very little assistance, and he was a really good boy.… Continue reading

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Mt. Hope Draft Horse Sale

By Kim Lemmon

Three times a year, masses of horse folks gather in Mt. Hope, Ohio, for the Mt. Hope Draft Horse Sale. The sales take place in June, October, and March and feature several days of auctions of all types of horses and horse equipment and tack. The most recent sale was March 6-9, 2012.

Tuesdays of the sale week are generally reserved for carriages, tack and ponies. Wednesdays are crossbreds which is just about anything you can imagine from light horses to grade draft horses to pricey Friesians to Spotted Drafts. Thursdays are reserved for Haflingers, Belgians and pulling horses. Fridays include Percherons and uncataloged horses.

It is an amazing event. Parking is free but scarce and there is certainly plenty of entertainment.

I attended the sale on Tuesday. Inside one building, there were three auctioneers selling tack and there were two more auctioneers in other buildings for a total of five rings at one time.… Continue reading

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A salute to “black stretchy thingies”

About a year ago, my husband, Mark, started assembling a toolbox for me. The idea behind it was that I would have a few tools on hand in the barn at all times. It seemed like whenever he went to the barn with me something needed fixed and he never had a tool to work on the project. I also think that based on my history with tools he didn’t want me using any of his fancy tools anymore.

Mark stayed away from power tools but he assembled a hammer, some wrenches, a screwdriver with several different ends (that I by the way have no idea how to attach) and a bunch of other stuff. I really only know what about half of it is.

I thanked him for the toolbox and accessories, and it really is nice to have it in the barn, but I often wonder why he thinks I know how to use much more than the hammer.… Continue reading

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